Whether it’s a breakup with your partner or the loss of a friendship, figuring out how to deal with heartbreak is a conundrum that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives.
There is a lot of advice out there on how to deal with heartbreak. You may be surprised to learn that some of the usual coping methods you’ve been applying may actually be hindering your healing and prolonging your pain. To help you manage in a way that will serve you, we’ve compiled 16 of our best tips on how to deal with heartbreak.
Keep reading if you want to learn about the meaning and effects of heartbreak and what might help you, personally, to ease the pain when you’re feeling heartbroken.
This Article Contains
- What Does It Mean To Deal With Heartbreak?
- Why Does Heartbreak Hurt So Much?
- How To Deal With Heartbreak: 16 Constructive Tips
- 30 Days Of Simple Self-Care: Living Through Heartbreak
What Does It Mean To Deal With Heartbreak?
A broken heart can be one of the most profoundly painful experiences to go through. When you hear the term “heartbreak,” you may think of getting dumped or the end of a romance. The truth is, a terrible break-up and the resulting heartbreak can occur in any type of relationship, whether it is an ex-lover, life partner, a best friend, or a family member.
A break-up and the broken heart that comes with it can make you feel a lot of things all at once. You may feel sad at the profound sense of loss. You may feel confused as to why the relationship ended. You may also feel ashamed at things you think you should or shouldn’t have done in the relationship. Break-ups are a big deal, and overcoming heartbreak is a monumental task that can often feel impossible.
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Why Does Heartbreak Hurt So Much?
As it turns out, there are proven and measurable effects as to why heartbreak is such a big deal. Studies have shown that your brain registers the emotional pain of a broken heart as it would a physical pain in your body. A 2010 study measured the brain activity of participants who had recently gone through a break-up . The study found that their brain activity was similar to that of people going through cocaine withdrawal. That’s why when you go through a divorce, break-up, or any other type of separation, it can feel impossible to overcome heartbreak as you may feel physically gutted, empty, and depressed.
While these extreme feelings are normal and to be expected after a significant loss of a friend, partner, or relative, it’s of the utmost importance to take care of yourself to ensure your broken heart doesn’t lead to permanent damage in the long run. A break-up can make you feel worthless, wreaking havoc on your self-love and self-esteem. But when you can spend time going through the healing process, you will begin to feel glimmers of hope once again and get excited for the beautiful experiences your new life holds.
A great way of dealing with heartbreak is to have a set of practical tips and ideas you can try when you struggle with low self-esteem and depression. But don’t worry if you can’t think of anything off the top of your head. Here is a list of the 16 best tactics we have found to be especially helpful for easing the pain of a broken heart.
How To Deal With Heartbreak: 16 Constructive Tips
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for how to deal with heartbreak, there are several ways you can begin to release the pain and relieve your suffering. Each of these tips for living through heartbreak focuses on giving yourself the love and compassion you need and deserve to begin healing.
# 1 – Create a safe space, e.g., in your home, to mourn your break-up
When it comes to dealing with heartbreak, comfort is key. Comfort, in this case, comes in the form of creating a safe space for yourself. Carving out an area to mourn what was is a great way to show yourself love without allowing your grief to overshadow your entire existence. Utilizing a dedicated comfy space – whether it’s snuggling in a bed with fluffy pillows and cozy blankets or cuddling with your dog on the couch – is a great way to utilize your environment as a way to support you through this tough time.
# 2 – Schedule emotional release time to honor your broken heart
Self-compassion is like a cooling salve to the sting that heartbreak brings. Allowing yourself to feel all of your emotions – the good, the bad, and the ugly – is an essential part of moving forward in the right direction. It may feel uncomfortable and counterintuitive to lean into your negative feelings, but this is one of the best ways to get your heartbreak to release its power over you. If you don’t spend enough time acknowledging and honoring your feelings of grief, this may lead you to repress those emotions, only for them to pop up and surprise you when you least expect it.
Scheduling a specific time each day to allow your heartbreak to surface and release can be helpful in getting through grief more quickly.
# 3 – Take care of yourself physically in the initial stages of heartbreak recovery
When you go through a breakup, your body can go through many types of pain. You can experience physical pain in the form of a headache, backache, stomach ache, and even muscle aches and pains in your legs. This type of pain is often referred to as stress-induced pain. It’s real, it hurts, yet we often dismiss this tension because it isn’t coming from a physical injury. Just because it isn’t coming from the outside doesn’t mean that your body is not experiencing pain.
# 4 – Make sure to stay in touch with friends and see other people
When you’re feeling sad and heartbroken, it’s important not to withdraw from the world. Meeting other people and staying in touch with friends is an excellent way to feel better. If you don’t meet other people and keep in touch with friends when you’re sad and heartbroken, it’s easy to get isolated and feel like no one understands what you’re going through.
It’s vital that you stay connected with your family and friends during difficult times. Make sure to take some time out of your day to meet up with them for coffee or lunch if you can. Social media groups can be helpful to stay connected with people who live far away from you, but it’s also important to keep getting together in real life, like going for a walk with a friend or playing a team sport.
Having an active social life can help to distract you after a rough break-up and prevent you from isolating yourself.
# 5 – Find a support system for emotional emergencies
Having a solid support system is essential for learning how to deal with a broken heart in a healthy way. While you may have lost a significant other, a trusted friend, or cut ties with a family member, you still have people in your corner who love you and will support you through this. Crawling into a hole and isolating yourself from the cold, cruel world may sound enticing when dealing with heartbreak, but too much of this will lead to additional suffering that you don’t need or deserve.
Spend time with old friends, new friends, best friends, family members, or a therapist and allow them to support you. You may feel like the only person to have ever experienced such pain, but after talking with loved ones, it may help you put your experiences into perspective so you can begin to heal.
# 6 – Reflect on the relationship you’re grieving over
If you’re having a hard time getting over your break-up, reflect on the relationship that has ended. It can cause an incredible amount of pain and discomfort to ignore the situation at hand and pretend that nothing was wrong with the connection that you shared. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if things were “just not right” or if there were some deeply engrained issues in the relationship.
But whatever is going on inside your head, make sure not to ignore what happened completely because this will only make healing all the more difficult down the road. Think about why you ended up sacrificing so much of your time and life energy for a person who may not have been a good match all along.
# 7 – Remember you can’t control other people
If you’re having difficulties moving on after a break-up, chances are you might be thinking about why the other person didn’t want to get back together with you. But no matter how many times we watch romantic comedies or reminisce about past relationships, it doesn’t change the fact that trying to control someone else’s feelings is a fruitless undertaking.
# 8 – Recognize and eliminate harmful habits
Recognizing the destructive elements in your life is one of the first steps to changing them. If you are coping with heartbreak, you likely have some unhealthy habits that are not helping you move forward. Acknowledge these bad habits and then replace them with positive ones to help you heal. This process works best if you take time for introspection and journaling. You can write out what is going on inside yourself without being interrupted by daily events or distractions.
After taking time for yourself, try to work on the behavior changes you want in your life. Ask yourself what some of your negative habits are, and create specific goals for eliminating them. Examples of bad habits include staying out late, self-medicating with alcohol, or sleeping in too long in the morning.
Acknowledge your negative habits and replace them with better ones that support your emotional growth.
# 9 – Try Yoga to unblock your heart chakra and soothe your emotional and physical pain
Grounding practices like yoga are a fantastic way to deal with the mental and physical effects of heartbreak. When we get dumped or lose a significant relationship, our instinct is to close ourselves off in order to protect our broken hearts from experiencing further pain. But doing so won’t alleviate suffering. Yoga can help to unblock the energy in your heart center by focusing on poses that open you up and undo any walls or barriers that your heartbreak has created.
# 10 – Write in a gratitude journal to accelerate the healing process
An attitude of gratitude can make all the difference. Appreciation is a great way to learn how to deal with heartbreak because it reminds you of all the good that you still have in your life. Heartbreak can lead to a laser-like focus on all that is going wrong but writing down a few things you appreciate can begin to turn your mindset from loss to abundance.
A gratitude journal like our Year of Grounding Gratitude can be an excellent resource for starting your gratitude routine. It has 52 sets of prompts that will gently guide you step by step each week of the year and can be printed or used digitally, as an interactive e-book, on your PC or mobile device. This is incredibly helpful if you are going through an emotional loss because these prompts are meant to help spark inspiration which can feel impossible when you are experiencing heartbreak.
# 11 – Don’t forget that it’s okay to be hurting
It can be easy to feel guilty about your sadness after a separation. We might think that we should have learned something from the experience or brushed it off because things didn’t work out, even when it feels like the end of the world at first. But dwelling on how much you’re hurting won’t make healing any faster. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself during such a difficult time and do whatever you need to feel better.
Do not delude yourself into thinking you’re overreacting because it won’t make anything better. It can be scary to acknowledge how bad a break-up feels, but the only way to get through this with your sanity is by being honest about your feelings and dealing with them each day with an open heart and mind.
# 12 – Accept that healing from heartbreak is not a linear process
Even though you may be fully dedicated to overcoming your heartbreak, keep in mind that healing is not a linear process. Some days you may feel like you’ve jumped ten steps forward, while the next may bring a whole new wave of sadness and grief. Be patient with yourself and fully forgive yourself in those moments where you find yourself falling apart.
“Healing takes time, and it’s not a linear process. There will be good days and bad days, but keep going because the result is worth it. You’re worth it.”
# 13 – Don’t make any major life decisions during the first 6 months of your break-up
Heartbreak can often lead to impulsive, seemingly irrational decisions about matters such as where you want to work, how you want to live your life, and who you want in it. If you’re unsure about what you want, give it some time. You don’t need to rush into any decisions you will regret later.
The impulse towards rash decision-making is an understandable reaction – we experience a lot of emotion throughout a break-up and even feel like our lives are falling apart – but these kinds of decisions can actually do more harm than good, especially when it comes time for them to be implemented.
# 14 – Avoid activities that remind you of your former partner or lost friend
When trying to heal from heartbreak, it’s crucial to steer yourself away from activities that remind you of your ex-partner or friend. This can be anything you used to share with them, including hobbies or how you used to spend your free time. It’s not easy, but this step is crucial if you want to recover from heartbreak.
The most obvious example of how activities can keep us from moving on from a relationship is if we continue to spend time with the person we just broke up with. This can be hanging out with them as friends, texting them, or talking to them on social media. We may also keep ourselves busy with things we used to do together.
The problem with these activities is that they will keep thoughts of the person you lost on your mind and prevent you from starting a new routine for yourself. Even simple things, such as going to places where you used to go together or playing their favorite song, can negatively affect your mental well-being if they remind you too much of what you just lost.
# 15 – Keep yourself busy with new activities, or find a new hobby
Heartbreak involves an incredible amount of loss, and it can also be difficult for us to keep ourselves occupied because we are so focused on how much we’ve lost. That’s why it’s crucial to keep yourself active and busy with other things during this time. Whether you want something relaxing like taking a bubble bath, or something more adventurous like going skiing, just make sure to stay as active as possible, even if it feels impossible at first.
# 16 – Start a self-care routine focused on self-compassion and comfort
Having a good self-care routine is imperative to your success in general. This rings even more true when you are going through a difficult time. There are many ways to engage in self-care and it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out how best to practice it. Should you start going for morning walks? Begin a meditation practice? There are limitless ways to practice self-care – this can be tough if you don’t know where to start.
Luckily though, there are some incredible resources out there that take the guesswork out of it. One helpful resource you might want to consider is our self-paced, online course, 30 DAYS OF SIMPLE SELF-CARE: LIVING THROUGH HEARTBREAK.
30 Days Of Simple Self-Care: Living Through Heartbreak
As previously mentioned, one great way to deal with heartbreak is to create a safe space for yourself. Our self-care course, LIVING THROUGH HEARTBREAK, does just that in the form of providing comfort and care, offering professionally cultivated healing meditations, suggesting helpful self-care practices, and guiding you towards full acceptance of yourself – however broken you may feel.
One of the best things about this course is that you can go through it at your own pace. Because healing is nonlinear, you may have days where you have enough energy to go through a few learning modules, self-care practices, and journaling exercises. You may also have days where you feel too depleted to do anything at all. Either way, the course will be there waiting for you whenever you need it. This kind of unconditional assistance is precisely what you need to feel supported through your pain.
A unique feature of the self-care course are the meditations, specifically recorded for this course. These practices were created by a professional meditation instructor and have been curated to promote hope and boost your self-esteem. Each meditation focuses on a specific element of dealing with heartache. One area of focus, for example, is creating space to acknowledge and honor your pain. Shining a light on your pain can feel unsafe and counterintuitive. Still, the meditation, along with the correlating self-care practices and reflection, will allow you to do so in a way that makes you feel enveloped in compassion and support.
Comfort and self-compassion are the main themes of this self-care course for dealing with heartbreak. We will gently guide you into healing through each lesson by honoring and acknowledging your pain while maintaining patience throughout all the highs and lows that heartbreak can bring. By the end of the course, you will have planted the seeds of self-care and compassion through practices that nurture your mental, physical, and emotional health. By employing and cultivating the methods you learn, you will develop a loving relationship with yourself and begin to experience the forward momentum that true healing brings.
The Bottom Line
There is nothing easy or fun about heartbreak. The anguish, the emptiness, and the mental, physical, and emotional devastation it brings can upend your life. As overwhelming as this grief can be, there are methods for dealing with heartbreak in a way that honors your pain while moving you forward to a brighter future. Having as much support as possible is one of the best ways to learn how to deal with heartbreak. This support can come through a friend, a therapist, or through expert guidance like 30 DAYS OF SIMPLE SELF-CARE: LIVING THROUGH HEARTBREAK.
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